Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

USA wanted ISIS terror leader may have fled Philippine city: army

MARAWI-2-940x580 Most-wanted Malaysian militant who helped finance Marawi siege believed killed in Philippines
Saul Franklin | 25 June, 2017, 02:15

He said the military has monitored militant operations where the Biff sent men to help not just the Maute group, but also other local militant groups in the country.

Año, citing intelligence shared by foreign counterparts, told the ST that Mahmud was suspected of channelling more than 30 million pesos (RM2.6 million) from the Islamic State group to acquire firearms, food and other supplies for the attack in Marawi.

Military officials said they were validating reports that the Maute brothers and a Malaysian terrorist were killed in a gunfight with government troopers weeks ago.

The military official said they have also engaged with different sectors and organizations "to explain our efforts in the implementation of martial law and continuously assess and innovate our measures and activities to enhance its implementation".

Mahmud reportedly received training in Afghanistan and appeared in a video that showed militant leaders planning the siege in Marawi, which is thought to be a sign that he playing a significant role in the unrest.

Almost 300 militants and 67 government troops have been killed in the fighting, according to official figures. Troops since then have killed about 280 gunmen, recovered almost 300 assault firearms and regained control of 85 buildings.

The report said Malaysian counter-terrorism authorities could not confirm if Mahmud had died as his body had not been found. Government forces are still trying to dislodge the terrorists. "They're pinned down", Ano said.

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Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said the Philippines accepted an offer of two AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance to local troops.

THE military is verifying the reported death of Malaysian terrorist who allegedly financed the siege by the Islamic State-affiliated Maute group in Marawi City, Malacañang said Saturday. The U.S. military has earlier deployed a spy plane and drones over Marawi.

An attempt by government troops to arrest Hapilon in Marawi on May 23 triggered a rampage by Islamist militants flying black IS flags and backed by some foreign fighters who seized parts of the mainly Muslim city.

Powerful clans and warlords, along with insurgencies, have effectively weakened law enforcement in large areas in the country's south, making it easier for militants to take over an area and hold it, said Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta, Indonesia. "It's much broader problem that needs a strategic solution".

"This is the goal why we are making a collective effort against terrorism and violent extremism through a trilateral cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia", Abella said.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Marawi and the entire southern island of Mindanao, unleashing an offensive to crush what he said was an attempt by the terror group to establish a province in the area.

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